Robert Jeffress - The Day of The Demons
Hi, I'm Robert Jeffress. And welcome again to "Pathway to Victory". The Book of Revelation describes a horrible time of destruction that will take place during the earth's final seven years. We call this period the Great Tribulation. Last time, we looked at four major natural disasters that would befall the earth during this time. And today, we're going to look at three judgments that will be directed towards mankind. My message is titled, "The Day of The Demons", on today's edition of "Pathway to Victory".
Before the advent of modern map-making or satellite technology, ancient mariners really didn't know a lot about the oceans on which they sailed. They thought the earth was flat, and if they went too far, they could fall off the edge of the earth. They didn't know, really, what lurked beneath the seas as well. And that gave rise to many myths. And perhaps the myth that was the greatest of them all was the Myth of the Kraken, that large squid-like beast, that, according to mythology, was able to wrap its tentacles around the mast of a ship and drag it below the sea and cause the death of all the sailors aboard. So fearful were ancients mariners of the Kraken that they refused to even utter the name, thinking that just mentioning that would summon that huge beast to destroy them and send them to their watery graves.
When we get to Revelation chapter nine, you might be relieved to know there are no Krakens. We're not going to see any creatures like the Kraken beneath the sea, but more terrifying, are the creatures we are going to discover today. And perhaps the most frightening thing about these creatures we're going to look at today is that they're real. And God says one day, he's going to release them to do their destructive work on the face of the earth.
If you have your Bibles, I want you to turn for a very sobering passage in Revelation 9, as we discover what happens on the day of the demons, Revelation chapter nine. Now, for those of you who are new with us, we are in our study of the Book of Revelation. And right now we're at the final seven years of earth's history, a period of time, we commonly called the Great Tribulation, and it is a series of God's judgments against the earth that will culminate in the Battle of Armageddon and the visible return of Jesus Christ. But God's fierce judgment against the earth comes in a series of three judgments, the seal judgments in Revelation chapter six, the trumpet judgments in Revelation eight to nine, and finally, the bowl judgments in Revelation chapter 16.
Last time, you may remember that we looked at the trumpet judgment, that second series of judgments, and they're really split into four and three. The first four judgments of the trumpet judgments are against the earth itself. A third of the earth will be burned up. A third of the trees will be destroyed. A third of the marine life will be destroyed as well. It's a destruction like the world has never seen against the ecological system of the earth. But after that fourth trumpet, there is a pause and Revelation 8:13, and John said, "Then I looked and I heard an eagle flying in midheaven saying with a loud voice, 'woe, woe, woe to those who dwell on the earth, because of the remaining blast of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound!'".
There was a pause, a chance for repentance from people on the earth, because as horrific as these first four trumpet judgments are, they're nothing compared to the final three because these final three trumpet judgments are not against the natural earth. They are against the humans upon the earth. And beginning in verse one of chapter nine, we see the first of those woes, which corresponds to the fifth trumpet judgment, demonic tormentors. Look at verse one. Then the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star from heaven, which had fallen to earth and the key of the bottomless pit was given to him. Unlike previous stars that were meteors or asteroids, this isn't a collection of minerals. This is an actual being that comes from heaven to earth, a star that has fallen from heaven. It's an angel. And the key of the bottomless pit was given to him.
Now, which angel was it? Was it a heavenly angel or was it a demon angel? You'll remember that Lucifer, Satan, originally was Lucifer, chief of the angels. And he led a rebellion against God, according to Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28. And because of that, God cast him and the angels who had joined him in that rebellion to earth. And those angels, we call demons today. Well, which is it? Is it a heavenly angel or a demonic angel? The key is that word fallen. If he was simply saying an angel was sent from heaven, he would have used the word sent, but fallen has a special connotation. Remember in Isaiah 14:12, Isaiah writes about Lucifer, "How you have fallen from heaven, o star of the morning, son of the Dawn"! This fallen angel was still given by God a key. And it was a key to a bottomless pit.
Look at verse two. And he opened the bottomless pit and smoke went out of the pit, like the smoke of a great furnace and the sun and the air were darkened by the smoke of the pit. Where is this bottomless pit? And what is it? That word is in Greek. We call it the abyss. And as we'll see in just a moment, the abyss is the place where a group of demons who have already been judged are being held captive until their final judgment and dispatch into the eternal lake of fire. This angel, this demon was given a key to open the bottomless pit, but notice what else that he saw besides the smoke and the fire. He saw demonic tormentors from the abyss.
Look at verse three. Then out of the smoke came locusts upon the earth and power was given them as the scorpions of the earth have power. And they were told not to hurt the grass of the earth nor any green thing, nor any tree, but only the men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. That's the 144.000 who have been sealed and saved by God. And these locusts were not permitted to kill anyone, but to torment for five months. And their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it stings a man. And in those days, men will seek death and will not find it. They will long to die, but death flees from them. In the Bible, locusts are always a sign of God's judgment against the earth because of the destruction they perform on vegetation and food sources. But in this judgment, the locusts don't go after the vegetation. They don't go after the green grass. Instead, their target are human beings. Apparently, these demon locusts have the ability to inflict a sting like a scorpion.
Now, for children, a scorpion sting can be fatal. For most adults, it's not fatal, but it can be accompanied, if it's severe enough, by convulsions, by continuous feelings of nausea, by continual vomiting. You can wish you were dead. And that's exactly what happens here. Have you ever been in such agony that you wished you could die? For five months, they will inflict this horrific pain upon human beings. People say, why in the world will God do such a thing like that? Is God cruel that he would torment people like that. One commentator said it this way, "This plague is not an act of wanton cruelty, but a stark indication that wickedness cannot continue indefinitely without divine retribution". Sin demands punishment. And the refusal of people to repent as we'll see in a moment, makes this a just judgment. Their mission is to inflict pain upon human beings.
Notice their appearance, verse seven. The appearance of these locusts was like horses prepared for battle. If you look under a microscope at a locust, it does look like a horse, but this will be like a horse prepared for battle. And on their heads, appeared to be crowns like gold, signifying their victory and their faces were like the faces of men. Probably an indication of the fact that they had intelligence. They had hair like the hair of women. And ladies, this is no slam against women. What he's saying here is the Bible says a woman's hair is her glory. And these creatures will have long hair, like a woman.
What does that mean? Well, remember the Romans were constantly fighting barbarians, hordes of barbarians. And barbarians, in the first century did not cut their hair. It added to the appearance of ferocity, their long hair. That's what this is signifying as well. Their teeth were like the teeth of lions, showing their voracious appetites. They had breast plates like the breastplates of iron. And the sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots, of many horses rushing to battle. Sometimes swarms of natural locusts are so large that the beating of their wings is like standing at the base of a great waterfall. It's so loud. That's what you're going to see here. Verse 10, they have tails like scorpions and stings and in their tails is the power to hurt men, not kill them, for five months. They have a king over them, the angel of the abyss, his name in Hebrew is abaddon and in Greek, he has the name of apollyon. Both of those names means destroyer. The first woe is past. Behold, two woes are still coming after these things.
As terrible as this judgment is, unimaginable pain for five months, it's nothing compared to the second woe, the sixth judgment that is yet to come. The sixth trumpet, the second woe, is that of a demonic army. Look at Revelation 9 beginning with verse 13. Then the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar, which is before God. And one saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, "Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates. And the four angels who had been prepared for the hour and the day and the month and the year were released so that they would kill a third of mankind". What is happening here? This sixth angel with the sixth trumpet is not only sounding the trumpet, he's participating in the execution of this judgment. He is commanded to release the four angels bound at the river Euphrates. Remember the locusts were told they can't kill anyone, but these four commanders of a demonic army will kill one third of mankind.
Can I point something else out of interest to me? Notice that they are prepared for the hour, the day, the month and the year this was to happen. Do you ever have the feeling that things that are happening in the world are out of control? You wonder what's going to be in the headlines next or, closer to home, maybe you feel like the circumstances in your life are out of control, you are the victim of adverse people or just adverse circumstances, no telling what is going to happen? Know God has a year, a month, a day, an hour on his calendar for everything that happens in your life. God has a plan that he is working out in your life. Nothing that happens to you, nothing in this world takes him by surprise. When the year, the month, the day, the hour came, the alarm sounded, God released those four angels. And how is it they're going to kill a third of the human beings on the earth? It's going to be through a 200-million-member demonic army. And we find it described beginning in verse 16. The number of the armies of these demonic horsemen was 200 million.
I heard the number of them. In Greek, it says twice 10.000 times 10.000. There is no reason to take that symbolically. That's pretty precise, 200 million. It's not hard to see how you could have a 200-million person army. And this is how I saw in the vision, the horses and those who sat on them, in other words, this is what it looked like to me, John, the riders had breastplates the color of fire, that would be red and of hyacinth, that would be blue, and of brimstone, that would be yellow. Perhaps these breast plate represented different countries that were a part of this band of military men and women. Maybe it represented different areas of service of this army, but they were distinguished by the color of their breastplates. And the heads of the horses are like, notice the word like, the heads of lions. These aren't real lions, but they appear to John like lions. And out of their mouths proceed fire and smoke and brimstone. And a third of mankind was killed by these three plagues, by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone, which proceeded out of their mouths. For the power of the horses is in their mouths and in their tails, for their tails are like serpents and have heads. And with them, they do harm. So many times, John uses the word it's like, it's like, it's like.
Now this is conjecture, imagination on my part, but I think it's sanctified imagination. If you were John on that island of Patmos in the first century, and God has transported you to the 21st century or the 22nd century to look at the end of the world and a great war that was occurring, how would you, as John, from the first century, describe the weapons of modern war in the 21st century. What words would you use to describe a helicopter flying through the sky or a massive tank that billows smoke and destruction or a rocket launcher sending missiles? How would you describe that? You would use language just like this. And I think that's what you're seeing John do here. He's describing a real war with real forces at work. And what was the result of this plague? The result was a third of mankind was killed.
And I remember back in the seal judgments in Revelation chapter six and the fourth judgment, a fourth of humankind had already been killed. Now you add a third. That means by the end of this plague, over a half the world's population, today, that would be three and a half billion people have died. There's no way to even bury that many corpses, are lying in the street decomposing before people's eyes. Imagine the disease, everything that accompanies the loss of three and a half billion people. But you would think if the world had witnessed that fifth trumpet judgment, those scorpion-like creatures causing people to beg to die and the sixth judgment, a third of the world killed, you would think, certainly, that would bring people to their knees to repent and turn to God. Not so, look at the response to these first two woe judgments beginning with verse 20.
And the rest of mankind, those who survived, who were not killed by these plagues, they did not repent of the works of their hands so as not to worship demons and the idols of gold and silver, and they did not repent of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their immorality, nor of their thefts. They not only didn't repent, they continued to sin and they sinned even more frequently and intensely. You see that happening today. None of this is hard to believe. Worshiping demons, we see the worship of Satan and demons at an all time high right now. Idolatry, it's not just wood statues, but gold and silver and stone and wood. Today, materialism is an idol to so many people. They worship money. They worship their possessions instead of the God who gives them those possessions. And they did not repent of their murders.
A threat of punishment will not cause a person to repent of his sins and turn to Christ. Supernatural signs will not cause a person to repent and turn to Christ. Haven't you heard people say, "Oh, if I could just see a supernatural sign from God, then I would turn to Christ". Think about it, during the tribulation, they'll see, sign after sign, an eagle flying through the sky, shouting out a warning, and they will not believe. Well, pastor, if the threat of eternal punishment doesn't make somebody repent, if a supernatural sign can't cause somebody to repent, then what is it that causes a person to repent? Only one thing, the work of God in that person's heart. The ability to even know of your sin and turn away from that sin and turn to Christ, your ability to do that is a gift that comes from God.
So where do you find that in the Bible? I thought that was something I did. No, it's a gift from God, the ability to be able to repent. In 2 Timothy 2:25-26, Paul says, "If perhaps God may grant them repentance, leading to the knowledge of the truth and they may come to their sense and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will". If you are held captive by Satan right now, the only chance for your eternal salvation is for God to give you the gift of repentance. Listen to me, if right now you have an understanding of your sin, of your failing before God, if you realize you're a sinner and you need a Savior, you didn't come to that understanding on your own. God has granted to you that ability to repent. It's a gift, but it's a gift that will not last forever. Today, today, before it is too late, is the day of salvation.